Child ADHD Rescue – NORTHERN BEACHES
Understanding children with ADHD begins with acknowledging that the child will behave in challenging ways from time to time regardless of intervention, disciplining and the amount of time parents spend trying to get the child to understand their bad behaviour. Developing a comprehensive behavioural management plan, associated with lifestyle changes are the tools we believe are key to successful management of the disorder.
Outlining behaviour management strategies will also help in the home and in school. This includes a well balanced eating plan, consistent routine and sleeping plan. Support for learning and in some cases medication will also help reduce stress and unwanted negative behaviour from the child.
The plans are usually crafted by a psychologist in collaboration with a General Practitioner or paediatrition.
Healing stratergies or children with ADHD include:
Making in instructions clear and brief so the child knows exactly what is expected from them;
Have routines structured, planned and visible to the child;
Strong eye contact from the caregiver to the child;
Making sure your child has understood instructions by checking with him/her;
Creating opportunities and activities for your child to be creative and expressive in their on way to “let off steam”;
Keeping tiredness at bay
A psychologists main role is to bring awareness to both the child and the parent on what is usual behaviour within this disorder. Once the behaviour is fully understood a plan can be crafted and the stigma of my child is naughty, bad, not hard working, etc can be dismissed. A tired child without ADHD can be challenging, many parents report that their child with ADHD who is tired is a nearly impossible challenge. Some great tips are:
Provide healthy food options wherever possible;
Build rest breaks into activities;
Involve physical activities after learning activities such as school, homework or study;
Make sure your child’s routines are consistent;
Ensure that changes to plans are explained to the child with enough time for the child to understand the changes;
Provide a calm environment without too much sensory stimulation;
One of the marked differences between these two diagnoses is the presence of not of hyperactive behaviour.
In ADD your child will have difficulty with concentration, memory and inattentiveness, whereas in ADHD your child’s behaviour will alternate between moments of hyperactivity, inattentiveness and hyper focused attention.
Children with ADHD have the capacity to focus for a good length of time, as when playing video games, or drawing for example. and when the child is in hyper focused mode they can be highly productive and channel their creativity.
Your child may have very poor organisational skills, they can be very messy and lose their posessions regularly.
Their memory is also patchy and they can have difficulty sitting down and applying themselves to tasks.
You may think that these are just normal children behaviour, but the difference between children with ADHD and non-ADHD children is that a child with ADHD does not seem to be able to follow instructions or learn from their mistakes.
In addition to those ADHD can impair your child’s social skills. CHildren with ADHD ususally have a lot of difficulty making and maintaining friendships due to their lack of empathy and inattentiveness to social cues.
ODD stands for Opositional and Defiant Disorder.
It is not uncommon for children with ADHD to also develop ODD.
If your child is severely reluctant at following instructions, seems to be constantly struggling with accepting social norms and is constantly backchatting and questioning parents and tecahers authority. It is very likely that your chiod also has ODD.
If you suspect your child my have ADHD or if school teachers have suggested your child may be struggling with learning and socializing, the first step is to talk to your GP and request a referral to see a Developmental Paediatrician for a comprehensive assessment. Follow up with an appointment to see a child psychologist to find out the best way to disclose the diagnosis to your child and also on how to manage it with the extended family, school and other groups your child is a part of. Every child is different so a one size fits all way to approach your child’s diagnosis and challenges need to be carefully discussed so you can find the most appropriate way to manage it.